Last summer's The Avengers represents the largest box office haul for a comic book film, the third most successful theatrical release of any film ever, and more importantly, it holds the record for the largest weekend opening of all-time. Building of that success came this summer's opening release in Iron Man 3, which saw similar success in its opening weekend and worldwide gross, joining The Avengers in the top 5 box office earnings of all-time.
Up next, and against high expectations, is Alan Taylor's sequel to Thor. How will Thor: The Dark World fair againsts the last two franchise releases and its predecessor?
According to the tracking numbers (via THR), Thor: The Dark World is targeting a$75 million domestic opening weekend, a bump of $10 million over Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, the first two 3D post-converted films by Marvel Studios, which hit the $65 million mark in their summer 2011 slots.
Thor: The Dark World however, represents the first fall season release for the studio, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier marks their first spring release next April, lending credence to the idea that Marvel Studios may one day expand its operations to support more than two theatrical releases per year. However, Ant-Man which was slated for release in November 2015, was recently pushed forward to a July 2015 date, to better take advantage of the buzz surrounding The Avengers: Age of Ultron two months prior.
Thor, Marvel's second most viable character franchise so far, made nearly $450 million worldwide after a $65.7 million domestic opening weekend and with the boost in brand appeal from The Avengers, The Dark World will easily surpass the half-billion mark but likely won't come close to Iron Man 3's $1.2 billion haul, emphasizing the importance and bankability of Robert Downey Jr. to the franchise.
As always, these numbers just cement the fact that Marvel Studios is only just beginning the second chapter of their growing franchises. Not unlike the films of "Phase One," each Marvel movie going forward will feature an after-credits scene (referred to as a "button"). Iron Man 3 had a fun cameo by Mark Ruffalo at the end, which received mixed reactions as it didn't tease any of the upcoming films, characters or stories.
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For Thor: The Dark World however, Marvel Studios may have listened to the feedback and are going The Avengers route with not one, but two after-credits scenes. According to a commenter on JoBlo who claims to watched the film early, there's a mid-credits scene that teases the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, followed by a post-credits tag that's there for a few laughs, likely based on an in-joke from the film like the Shawarma scene at the very end of The Avengers. We won't spoil it.
Whether the post-credits scene could tease the next Phase Two film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or help set the stage for the cosmic-based Guardians of the Galaxy, we'll have to wait and see.
Alan Taylor directs Thor 2 off of Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s screenplay. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins.
Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 31, 2015, and unannounced films for May 6 2016, July 8 2016 and May 5 2017.
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